The Fifth Column by James Garcia Woods
The murder of an American member of the International Brigade training in a village deep in the heart of Republican Spain has implications which soon stretch far beyond a single death.
As mutual suspicions spread amongst the various groups which make up the brigade, it seems as if the unit – which is desperately needed for the defence of Madrid – is about to disintegrate. And so it is that Paco Ruiz is once more called upon to revert to his pre-war role as homicide detective.
Why do some of the peasants seem glad the brigadista who came to defend them is dead? Why does the Lincoln’s commander insist that the murderer must have come from outside the village, when it is obvious to Paco that he did not? And how great is the danger that before the case is over Paco will lose Cindy Walker – the woman he loves – to her old college professor?
As the clock relentlessly ticks away, Paco struggles with one of the most complex cases of his career, never realising that he too, has been marked for death.
James Garcia Woods was educated at the universities of Wales, Manchester and Oxford. Before becoming a full-time writer, he taught in England, Iran and Spain. He has lived with his wife in Madrid since 1979.